Aba is a popular city in Nigeria, known as “Aba Ngwa”.It is home to many popular and prominent Igbo sons and daughters, business tycoons or people who matter when it comes to Nigeria’s Economy.
Aba the SME capital of Nigeria was on 7th of February struck with the News of the death of the member representing Aba North and Aba south in the House of Representatives, Hon Ossy prestige. Constitutionally the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC is empowered to conduct a bye-elction within 90 days from the date he passed on.
Ossy prestige is dead but not forgotten as many particularly his constituents still await to pay him last respect on the day he will be committed to mother earth.
In fulfillment of its constitutional mandate, the Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed March 27th 2021for Aba bye-election and we look at the likely candidates and their chances, in an anticipated two horse race.
1.Hon Alex Mascot Ikwechegh: A former Local Government chairman of Aba North, from Igbere in Bende local government and a philanthropist who last year embarked on massive road grading in Aba and also extended it to other local Government areas has indicated interest.
He distributed kerosene to Aba residents, fuel to Keke operators, commercial bus drivers, sent relief materials to victims of Nkwo Ngwa fire outbreak.A good philanthropist,
Hon Ikwechegh has his shortcomings. Upon the death of Hon Ossy prestige he was accused of owing teachers 2 years salary and fleeing with the councils fund,but he cleared the air on the salary of the local Government where he told the public that he met 8 months salary arrears, paid two months with the money given to him from Abia’s share of the excess crude account from there he built the one story building at the Aba North council headquarters.
Hon Ikwechegh is believed to be in the race to replace late Hon Ossy prestige at the Green Chamber, he will be running under the platform of the people’s Democratic party PDP.
After his stay as the Aba Council boss Hon Ikwechegh was found wanting in the political atmosphere of the state, resurfaced after the 2019 General elections and it is believed that he has no input in the partys Structure for both Aba North and South.He is currently banking on his philanthropic gesture and his closeness with the Executive to pull through and has since been forcing himself to take pictures with the Governor in every function the Governor attends.
He has the cash to spend no doubt and is ready to challenge anybody seeking to struggle for the party’s ticket with him.
2. Destiny Akaraka Nwagwu: a member of the All progressives Grand Alliance APGA, is from Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia state, he contested to represent Aba North state Constituency in the Abia state House of Assembly and lost to Aaron Uzosike with a slim margin, it is sure that if he decides to contest it will be an easy race to pick the party’s ticket but the ugly part of the party is that APGA died with Hon Ossy Prestige, the party structure has collapsed into the ruling People’s Democratic Party, with Hon Obinna Ichita having excused himself out of the Race.
Destiny is good to go if he declares interest, but his chances of winning is slim as Prestige was the face of the party in Aba.
3. Mascot Uzor Kalu: is the younger brother to Dr Orji Uzor Kalu,Hon Mascot will have an easy battle in getting APC ticket to replace Hon Ossy Prestige, and will be banking on the support of Lady Jane Ogbauta to take care of his mobilization of women to drive his campaign but APC as a commodity can never be sold in Aba as an average Aba man will never see APC as an option.
4.Prof Ikechi Mgbeoji: A lawyer and a chieftain of the People’s Democratic party, former Commissioner for Education and also the Immediate past former Commissioner for Agriculture, Abia state. Prof Mgbeoji is known for his contributions towards the record broke by Abia by coming first in WAEC for five good times.
He came with a frame work that revived technical and vocational education in our school system, under the watch of Prof Mgbeoji, the school system of the state came back to life, the birth of rewarding the best teacher from the three Senatorial Zones in the state with a car came in place, provision of motorcycle for Area inspectors of Education in the rural areas came in place, he also facilitated the employment of Aba sons and daughters in the state civil service and local Government, grading of roads in Aba etc.
Prof Mgbeoji is the only Candidate so far that can match Hon Ikwechegh in all ramifications, but he is ahead of Hon Ikwechegh, having been on ground during the Congress and it is believed that he controls the party structure in Aba, and will be banking on the support of his former colleague, Chief Mrs Uwaoma Olewengwa- former Commissioner for Industry and other critical stakeholders both in Aba North and South to sweep the whole delegates.
Prof Ikechi Mgbeoji Will be a very hard nut to crack if he declares his interest to contest.
5.The Magic Uzo Azubuike: Hon Uzo Azubuike has been silent since after the 2019 General elections, where he lost to Hon Ossy Prestige, it is believed that his Loyalists are in control of the party structure in Aba North, he only need to seek dialogue with some of the stakeholders in south to clinch the party’s ticket, but if he decides to contest it will be a big battle between him and Prof Mgbeoji.
Hon Azubuike may likely join the race as investigation shows that he is in a serious consultation with stakeholders in Aba and the state.
The Two horse Race.
If Uzo Azubuike declares interest to join the race, it will be a serious battle between him and Prof Mgbeoji while Hon Ikwechegh will be banking on his contact and his cash to get the ticket.
In the Absence of Govt House not showing interest in who flies the flag of PDP, any aspirant that gets the support of Uzo Azubuike will automatically be the member Elect.
However,not minding the permutations of which candidate will be fielded by the parties,PDP will win the election come 27th March 2021.
Naijadaily will visit all the Aspirant immediately they make their aspiration open.